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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

With the launch of iOS 11, Apple introduced an entirely revamped App Store that includes a "Today" feature for prominently featuring app content.

"Today" includes both an "App of the Day" and a "Game of the Day" feature, with apps that are swapped out daily, and as it turns out, getting featured as an app or game of the day can result in a huge boost in downloads for developers.

According to 30 days of data sourced by Apptopia (via TechCrunch), apps and games that are featured see a major surge in downloads. An app featured on a weekday could see a download boost of up to 2,172 percent.


While games are often some of the most downloaded apps in the App Store, it's apps that see a bigger increase in downloads from being featured. Games, for example, see a maximum gain of 963 percent, and that's for a free game.

On average, in total, games see a 792 percent boost from an App Store feature, while apps see a 1,747 percent boost.

Free apps and games are of course more popular than paid apps and games, receiving much higher interest overall when featured. Weekday featuring also resulted in higher download gains than weekend featuring.

To gather its data, Apptopia looked at apps and games that have been featured by Apple over the course of the last 30 days. 5 out of 30 apps of the day were paid apps and 11 of 30 games were paid games.

Apps that are not as well established and well-known did better than apps that are already widely downloaded. As an example, Starbucks was featured and was downloaded only a "handful" of times more than the day before it was featured, as most people who would use the app likely already have it.
Apps that were already ranking within the top 20 of their respective category before being featured, only received an average download boost of 44%. For games ranking within the top 20 of the Games category, it was 37%.
Apple's App Store feature boosted a total of 19 apps from being unranked overall to being ranked on the overall charts, which, in some instances, means an app jumped more than 1,000 rank spots.


The new App Store in iOS 11 is a radical departure from the way the App Store was set up in iOS 10, as it splits apps and games into two distinct App Store categories to bolster app discovery. In addition to featuring an App of the Day and a Game of the Day, Apple also highlights apps through interviews, behind-the-scenes looks, app lists, and more, which also likely bring significant attention to developers lucky enough to be chosen for a feature.

Article Link: Apple's 'App of the Day' Feature Boosts Downloads Up to 2,172%
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macrumors member
Jun 17, 2013
The question is, how does one get their app in the ‘App of the Day’ feature. Take Heart Analyzer for example, it only really works if the user has an Apple Watch, so it would not be suitable to display to everyone right?


Sep 13, 2014
With such a steep increase in downloads (and presumably sales for paid apps), I wonder if Apple is selling the space to developers. How are these apps chosen?
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macrumors 68020
Apr 20, 2016
La Jolla, CA
The new App Store does NOT solve the main problem with the App Store ... Apple has a Stranglehold on App Discovery !

2/3 of their "picks" are made for Political reasons ... also, Apple does NOT pick apps, Apple picks "screenshots" for their recommendations ! ... only a tiny fraction of the apps that Apple recommends have any engineering accomplishment to them !

Can anyone name FIVE MUST HAVE third-party apps (NOT Games or Streaming Media apps) that have debut'd in the App Store "within just the last five or so years" ???

The App Store will ONLY thrive AFTER Apple is completely removed from the equation !
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Aug 16, 2007
I find myself only using the app store to update apps now. It's a convoluted mess now and near impossible to find anything. Even apps that I had planned to buy aren't being purchased now because they got rid of the Wish list I can't remember the name of them. I'm not an impulse buyer and usually don't buy an app until it has a few updates done or goes on a sale if I find it's usefulness may be limited. Since those apps are now impossible to go back to I simply use the store a lot less than before.


macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2010
With such a steep increase in downloads (and presumably sales for paid apps), I wonder if Apple is selling the space to developers. How are these apps chosen?

I know that with the iTunes movie store it is 100% curated by a team at Apple and filmmakers don’t know anything or have any sway.

Being featured in any way is the only way to have anyone watch your movie and iTunes accounts for about 80% of digital movie rentals.

We signed away a large percentage of the 70% Apple pays to get distributed by a popular digital distributor, even though there are services we could have paid a flat $1000 to get into iTunes. The difference was that the distributor is seen as a gate between filmmakers and Apple that is verifying the quality. I’m sure that, internally, Apple has sales records for the catalogs of all distributors and features their new movies based on their other movies’ performance.

When you simply pay to get on the store, you get dumped out and can only be found by a search. Sales are exactly how many people you can drive directly to your movie all on your own. I’m sure there are plenty of people who have never even recouped the $1,000 fee to get on the store. When you’re buried on a digital store, you might as well not exist.

Our movie released to a banner ad, being featured in a “zombie” section that gets its own ad, and the new release carousel. We shot up to the top of the horror charts and peaked at number 16 of all films.

None of it would have ever happened had we not come in via a trusted distributor, but the distributor didn’t pay Apple and repeatedly warned us that they had good luck with placement in the past, but had no control over it and that Apple did not even discuss those things. Apparently you can’t even talk about being the 99cent rental unless Apple comes to you.

By the by... being 16 of all movies and beating many, many blockbuster movies was done by racking up under $4,000 in rentals and purchases for the week (before all the splits with middle men). We were beating new release 100 million budget movies and we were freaking out. Celebrating. Then we got the sales figures. The digital market sucks but Apple’s $4,000 was a lot better than say, VuDu’s $200.


macrumors regular
Sep 8, 2017
It does matter I guess if you are a small developer, the boost helps tremendously. However, how many smaller developers actually get to have their apps featured there ? I feel like it's always the big names , established companies.


macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2007
Do people really still use the app store for browsing? I hear about an app from somewhere else, then type the name in the search. I really haven't cared about the app store UI in years. 2008 was the last time I was "delighted" by the experience of browsing for random, quirky apps made by indie developers.


Oct 20, 2017
This AppStore update has killed any small chance that indie devs ever had. It’s a pain in the ass to find anything new. At least with the old layout, you could wander around the AppStore and stumble upon something cool. Remember the Genius feature, for example? Now it’s just... plain ugly. It’s a pain in the ass to navigate too. Awful experience. 0/10. Do not recommend.
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